I’m always on the lookout for child-appropriate titles that will work as books to share with your children, or encourage new readers of chapter books to ‘do it themselves’. Surprisingly harder than you would expect, watching for content, message and of course, avoiding too much of the action or scare factor that would discourage some young readers. For that reason, faerie-tale morality stories that trend to a more humanist view of the world are my favorites, and are well-suited to a variety of readers and ages.
Jala and the Wolves
Jala and the Wolves by Marti Dumas is an action-packed, thoughtful tale following Jala and the lessons she learns along the way. Set just before Thanksgiving, Jala’s obsession with food and animals collide into a fantasy adventure unlike any others I have read.
Jala is obsessed with food, particularly bean pie (I have no clue –but am curious) and she’s apparently often underfoot as food is being prepared. Shooed out of the kitchen one morning during breakfast preparations, she retreats to her room to read more in her book about wolves. But a strange mirror draws her attention, and soon she is the alpha female, tasked with managing this new pack.
The wolves have hit a rough patch, and aren’t the best at finding food for their own survival. Jala uses her own experiences and knowledge to teach the wolves a new way, and learns much about availability and making do as she travels.
The lessons in this story are multilayered, from understanding that not everyone has or knows what you do, to the often very real struggle for enough to eat, and using your own knowledge and experience to move forward in multiple situations. Jala was a wonderful character, with a solid voice and curiosity.
Narration was provided by the author, Marti Dumas, and her presentation is wholly relaxing and reminiscent of ‘story hour’ at the children’s library. Dumas knows her story thoroughly, and presents Jala with a youthful tone and optimistic approach to life and her journey, and a thoughtful side that explains and presents her conclusions from the journey in an easy to understand way for readers 5 and up.
Stars: 4 Narration: 4 Story 4
Title: Jala and the Wolves
Author: Marti Dumas
Genre: Children's Literature
Narrator: Marti Dumas
Published by: Self-Produced, Self-Published
Published on: 13 February 2015
Audio Length: 1 Hour: 19 minutes
Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ AllRomance ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ Downpour ♦ Book Depository ♦ Google
Jala is a curious girl with a penchant for canines. In addition to playing pretend and being something of a gourmand, she spends most of her time learning new facts about animals—especially wolves. One day, after being severely scolded in the kitchen, she returns to her room and is only a little surprised to find that a mysterious mirror has appeared. Like Alice’s looking glass, the mirror is only the beginning. It transports her to a new land where she must use all her knowledge and strength to save an ailing pack of wolves.
A copy of this title was provided via Author for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.